The Federal Government on Thursday in Abuja vowed to offer technical assistance to other African countries to advance their capacities in weather forecasting.
Prof. Mansur Matazu, the Director-General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, gave the assurance during his welcome address at the opening of a two-day regional forum hosted by Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that bodies involved in the forum are Intra-ACP Climate Services and Related Application Programmes, CLIMSA, Committee and the Governing Board of African Centre of the Meteorological Application for Development, ACMAD.
According to Mr Matazu, such assistance to other African countries is crucial to boost their standard of living and to collectively qualify to access huge Global Climate Change Fund.
“The US$100 billion COP financing mechanism will mitigate climate change disaster. It is a pledge by developed nations to developing nations which is not easy to access.
COP is the supreme decision-making body of the Convention.
“Originally for Africa, the access to these vital funds is very low. That is why NiMet is also assisting other African countries in order to raise their capacity to be able to come up with products, projects and programmes to access the funds,” he said.
He listed countries NiMet has been helping on their daily early warning programme to include Liberia, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Mozambique and Malawi. These countries enjoy NiMet`s weather forecasts activities.
The NiMet boss explained that changes of climate are as a result of global warming, triggered by industrialization and high emission of greenhouse gases, and released into atmosphere. They alter normal climate variation and climate data in the world.
“Unfortunately for Africa, because of low adaptability and low mitigation measures, we have been affected and much more vulnerable to it. That is while advanced countries pledged and provided some incentives for climate change adaptation.
“For African countries, we are working hard in order to access such funds through climate adaptation progammes and climate mitigation projects,” he added.
Contributing, Amos Makarau, Director, World Meteorological Oganisation, WMO, Regional Office for Africa, said the objective of the meeting was to take stock of the system which the European Union, EU, had given to Africa through ACMAD.
He expressed optimism that the outcome of the meeting would add value to the entire Africa in terms of weather forecast.
“We are here for the candid invitation of the Federal Government of Nigeria through Prof. Mansur Matazu, NIMET DG, who is also the Chairman of the ACMAD.
“ACMAD is a very important association for Africa in technical issues on capacity development.
“The aim of the meeting is to take stock of our systems which EU has given to Africa through ACMAND to enhance capacity development and the technical support,” he said.
ACMAD Director-General, Dr. Andre Foamouhous, canvassed stronger effective relationship between the National Health Services and Disaster Management Agencies in response to natural disasters in the region.
He said it was the warning on natural disaster from the health services that would progress to action at government level.
“Nigeria is at the forefront of actually working towards reaching this goal,” he added.